What’s the sense of working so hard all year round if you can’t enjoy yourself while vacationing, right? We work hard all year long so we can enjoy our vacations and deserve to let loose!

I am a firm believer in taking time off from the gym. I think it is extremely healthy and normal to not hit the gym for a week while traveling or vacationing. Not only is it good for the body to rest, but it is so important for the mind as well. Taking mental breaks can do wonders for your physical gains.

If you aren’t going to be hitting the gym while traveling, what are some things you can do to help stay on track and not completely lose everything you have worked so hard for all year? Here, I highlight my top five fitness hacks for you to practice.

Allow yourself one big meal daily, and keep the others on the lighter or moderate side

For example, breakfast is still going to be delicious with a veggie egg frittata or a scrambled egg white omelette. Lunch focus on getting your greens in with a potion of protein. Dinner? Well, enjoy yourself.

Aim daily to keep two of your three meals relatively healthy. When you keep two meals lighter or more moderately healthy, you can afford to indulge in one meal; without feeling guilty. What's the sense in traveling to Europe if you aren’t going to be eating all the pasta and gelato?

Try not to snack

When we are traveling we actually focus less on food and wind up walking around a ton because of the fact we are off our daily routine and preoccupied with sightseeing and doing “touristy activities”. This is a good thing! If you are tempted to snack, try and keep it a nutritionally sound one. Sure, go for that cheese plate but add some salami or piece of chorizo to balance out your fats with a protein. Ice-cream? Try to add fruit.

Allow yourself to indulge without going overboard

Eat slowly. Talk to people. Chew your food. Eat your dessert. Drink between bites. Put down your fork. Vacation is a time to slow down and enjoy it. Let the guilt go and mentally enjoy everything around you. You should not feel guilty about any choice of food you eat. Remember, this is why we work so hard. So take it in and enjoy it.

Drink a lot of water!

Especially when traveling outside the country, it can be difficult to stay hydrated. Try to drink as much water as possible. If you know you will be walking around a lot, buy a big water bottle to carry with you throughout the day or pack one with you to carry around. When we adequately hydrated, we will also be less likely to snack or feel hungry.

Start your day with some kind of movement

Since you won’t be hitting the gym I still recommend getting up and doing some kind of movement. Whether that be 5 to10 minutes of light yoga and stretching, or some kind of body weight exercises like squats and pushups, do something for 5 to 10 minutes to elevate the heart rate and maybe break a light sweat.

Lastly, keep it moving, literally. Walk everywhere as much as possible. It will be cheaper, and you will get to soak in more scenery. When we begin the day with light activity, our metabolism increases a bit and it helps set and end the tone for the rest of the day, both physically and mentally.

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